Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another Fork in the Road

Grueling. Unsettling. Letdown.

Do those three words describe your job search? A grueling and unsettling predicament filled with letdowns.

Five years ago when I took the first step in pursuing my God-given writing talent, little did I know the many forks in the road that I would encounter.

So many unknowns bombarded my thoughts such as what kind of writer I should become.

Should I be a novelist? A blogger? A newspaper reporter? Or a magazine writer? I also considered what type of business or industry my writing could benefit.

And so, after graduating with a journalism degree, I finally felt confident with my academic credentials to make it as a writer.

Yet now, here I stand at a new fork in the road. Not really a new fork, but a very familiar one.

Which path do I take? The one that lands me a job that uses my past work experiences and enables me to support myself? Or the one where I pursue my passion for writing? A career field laden with starving artists.

As I said, the daily job search has been grueling. A letdown when potential jobs haven’t panned out. And unsettling not knowing what my future holds.

Grueling. Letdown. Unsettling. There are those three words, again.

However, I’ve heard it said you may not know what your future holds, but at least you know Who holds your future. 

As a Christian, I know this to be true. God has my back, and He has yours, too. He also encourages us not to be afraid at least a hundred times in the scriptures.

In the mean time, be still and wait patiently on the Lord. Bloom where you are planted while preparing yourself for His next endeavor for you. He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:6) He will open doors no one can shut. (Revelation 3:8)

Follow the divine nudges at those forks in the road.

And wait patiently for the Lord's perfect timing for the job He has in store.

“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you....” – Exodus 14:13

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Favorite Memories of Our Parents

While working on a family-tree project, an aunt asked my sisters and me to share some memories of our parents, so I posted our favorites in this blog entry. During my childhood, my father was a Navy man who supplemented the family income with various part-time jobs. My mother stayed home to raise us during those early years.
Mom and Dad

Mary: “I just finished reading a short Christmas story. The author wrote about his mom sprinkling a mixture of starch and water on his father's shirts, rolling them up, and placing them in the refrigerator. Later on, she would take the cold shirts out and iron them. Mom did the same with Dad's Navy whites except she placed them in the freezer.

As a little girl, I remember how fun it was to watch Mom and Dad jitterbug in the living room.

On many a New Year's Eve when we lived on Whitwood Road in Baltimore, I remember the swishing sound when Mom walked by. The sound came from the material of the girdle she wore as her upper legs slid against each other. That sound always signaled she and Dad were going somewhere important for the evening since they were dressed up.

I think I inherited Dad's posture when on a mission. He always leaned forward while walking with fast, long strides.

And who could ever forget the shades he used to clip on his military-issued glasses. While driving the school bus when we lived in New Mexico, he would flip up those shades. And he usually wore his Navy dungarees, denim shirt, and navy-blue ball cap on those bus rides. His left arm was always tanner than his right since it usually rested on top of the opened bus window.

Another thing I remember was Mom and Dad's tender hearts for those in need. Once we were on a vacation driving in the rain and came upon an overturned VW bug. Inside were a mother and her child. We took the toddler to a nearby hospital in our car. In the front seat, Mom cradled the youngster who was bleeding from a head wound.”
Uncle Eddie officiated our parents' wedding

Pam: “My favorite memory of Mom and Dad is the way they looked at each other.

Debbie: “I have one really fond memory. Dad was getting ready to leave us in New Mexico for a couple of months [because of his new Navy transfer] before we moved to California. Mom made Dad's favorite meal at that time which was enchiladas. She mistakenly put a can of jalapenos in the recipe instead of a can of green chiles. We couldn't eat the meal and had to give it away to one of their friends.

Mom was in the hospital one time when we lived at White Sands, and I remember we had a lot of beef-a-roni to eat. Thank goodness we liked beef-a-roni back then.

I always liked how Mom and Dad weren't afraid to show affection towards each other in front of us kids. I remember I always felt they were still sweet on each other... even with five of us.

One of my most favorite memories of Uncle Tom is when he pushed Mom into his pool. He had that male Gallagher devilish grin on his face when he did it!”

Meg: “I remember the buckets and buckets of cookies Mom made at Christmas. I believe she used five-gallon buckets to store them in.

For Dad, I remember how he would sit in his recliner with his feet crossed at the ankles and his hands linked behind his head. He would get this little smirk on his face and a twinkle in his eye because he knew you were getting ready to hit him up for something.”

Barb: I remember Mom spending weeks altering clothes for us girls that Aunt Joan sent (boxes of them). I didn’t appreciate having to stand there and try them on, but what was important was Mom did this for us.

One time when we went camping with another family, we built a dam in the creek to keep the beer and watermelon cold. After a heavy rain, the dam overflowed and the beer and watermelon started floating down the creek. The men said get the beer and us kids said get the watermelon. Can’t remember about the watermelon, but I seem to remember the beer was rescued from floating away.

When we used to go camping in Gila National Forest in New Mexico, on the last day of camping Mom would always cook up all the leftover food and we had to eat it all. One time there were a bunch of pancakes leftover, and Mom wasn’t happy about it. I remember Dad got the jelly and showed us how to put jelly on pancakes, roll them up, and eat them like burritos. They weren’t bad. He was such a diplomat.

I remember Dad stepping on jacks left [scattered] in the middle of the floor. He was in his bare feet and hopped around in pain.”